Herbs for Winter Health Natural Health tips from the College of Natural Health

DID YOU KNOW? Winter is the dark side of the season and a great time to build and store energy like a seed in the ground does.
Winter months not only bring in coughs, colds and flu, but we also struggle to keep warm and our circulation tends to be less effective at throwing out toxins.  Use these herbs to help support your health during winter. Cinnamon is an aromatic winter favourite that stimulates circulation as far as fingers and toes.  It's has potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities, making it vital during the worst of the flu season. It continues to be useful post colds and flu, during the debilitating convalescence stage. Ginger Root is 'the' classic for warming, increasing circulation and helping colds and flu.  It is often twinned in herbal tea with cinnamon to warm and detoxify.  Its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are most effective when freshly grated and eaten raw. Grate up a teaspoon and chew it on its own. Olive Leaf Extract is a powerful broad-spectrum antimicrobial, not only destroying bacteria, but also viruses, parasites and fungus (useful for candida). Olive leaf extract is a potent antioxidant and may protect your cells against damage and deterioration. We are as healthy and strong as our cells are and so protecting our cells on a cellular level is also important. Elderberry is of increasing interest as it appears to 'inactivate' any given flu and virus strain.  It helps to shorten and reduce symptoms and severity.  For centuries it has been used as a home remedy (as a syrup), to treat tickly coughs, colds and fevers. Elderberry, when taken at the onset of cold symptoms, make nastier conditions like flu, bronchitis and pneumonia less likely to progress.  It is beneficial taken throughout the colder winter months on a weekly basis, and daily during a cold. Nettle Leaf extract is a good winter detox.  In winter it is harder to naturally sweat out accumulated toxins and the tendency to indulge in the wrong foods during winter gives us even more reason to detox during this time than the rest of the year. Nettle's high levels of flavonoids and potassium make it excellent for shifting waste products through increased urine production.  Use either as an organic powder of 1 tsp (5g) in smoothies, or as a leaf tea. Seek personalised advice from your natural health practitioner for more tailored guidelines to support your health and immune functioning during winter. This article was written by Natural Health Practitioner Jill R. Davies for CNH (The College of Natural Health).  CNH trains students across South Africa for successful careers in natural health, and offers Short Courses in a range of natural therapies.  www.collegeofnaturalhealth.co.za 

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